How to Make Windows 10 Look Like Windows 7

The old adage, “The more things change, the more they stay the same” is rarely found in the world of information technology. One of the great aspects of technology however, is that the field is constantly coming up with exciting new innovations. On the other hand, while new developments may introduce features ranging from the critical to some interesting new bells and whistles, it can be frustrating for employers who feel they have to constantly re-train their staff to do the same tasks in a different way, every time a new operating system or some other type of technology comes to the market.

Since change is inevitable, especially with operating systems, one of the ways to make a transition as easy as possible is to find ways to make a new operating system have at least some of the look and functionality of the previous operating system. In this post, we will outline several tips on how to help a Windows 7 user cross over to the newer Windows 10 OS.

Start at the Beginning

Of course, it helps if everything begins at the Start Menu and Windows 10 does just that. Windows 7 users will note that Microsoft attempted to blend the best of both worlds, with some of the features of the old Windows 7 Start Menu, along with new “tiles” which work very similar to app icons found on smartphones. For those who really want their Windows 10 Start Menu to function in the same manner as Windows 7’s, the Open Shell program found here, does a great job in replicating the Windows 7 Start Menu.

File Explorer

Windows 7 users will be relieved to find the Windows 10 File Explorer remains essentially unchanged from Windows 7, although there are some minor differences. Windows 7 users who want to replicate their past working environment as much as possible, might want to consider making the following change:

  1. Open the File Explorer.
  2. From the File Menu in the upper left corner, click on “Options”. 
  3. On the “General” tab, change “Open File Explorer to:” dropdown option to “This PC”.
  4. Click on the “Apply” button to apply the changes, then click on “Ok” to close the window.

The Taskbar 

The default taskbar in Windows 10 might seem a bit cluttered to a Windows 7 user. To create a cleaner look on the taskbar, simply right-click on the taskbar and uncheck items such as “show Cortana button” or “show Task View button”. The Microsoft Store icon can also be removed by right-clicking on it, then selecting “Unpin from Taskbar”.

The Wallpaper

Some people want to feel really at home on their computer screen and don’t want to give up even their Windows 7 wallpaper. Luckily, they don’t have to. Simply select one of the familiar Windows 7 wallpapers from the official site, here, save it, then right-click on the saved file image to set it as the wallpaper background. 

The Overall Color Scheme

Last but not least, some Windows 7 users want their Windows 10 color scheme to reflect their old Windows 7 colors. To make this happen, perform the following steps:

  1. Right-click on a blank space anywhere on the Desktop.
  2. Click “Personalize”, then select “Colors” on the left side of the menu.
  3. Scroll down the right side of the screen that pops up and choose the colors from “Windows colors” that look familiar.
  4. Scroll even further to see options to change areas such as “the Start, taskbar and action center” along with the “Title bars and window borders” boxes. 

Play around with all the various colors and options to find all the familiar color components. If you would like to know more about how to smooth the transition from using Windows 7 to Windows 10, please contact us.

Office 365 vs Office 2019 – Which One is Best for Your Business?

Office 365 vs Office 2019 - Which One is Best for Your Business?

When it comes to which product is superior, Microsoft’s traditional Office (2019) suite, or their relatively new Office 365 package, there is no definitive answer. Microsoft offers the two options for their customers because they recognize that a one-size-fits-all philosophy may not necessarily meets the needs of everyone in their very large audience.

In this post, we will outline some of the key features of each suite so each business can decide for themselves, which package is better suited for their particular office environment.

Office 365 for Business

Office 365 is a cloud-based version of Microsoft’s suite of office products such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, plus additional business-related apps. Instead of paying a one-time license fee, buyers pay a monthly or annual subscription for use of the product. 

Some key advantages include:

  • Regular updates
  • Increased cloud-based collaboration
  • Use apps on multiple devices
  • Linking (rather than attaching) files to emails
  • Multiple subscription level options

Microsoft Office 2019

This is Microsoft’s stand-alone version of their Office line of software applications. Buyers make a one-time purchase of the package, which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook. Microsoft does offer a business version of the product and the one-time fee is good until the end of life of the product (infinite access).

Advantages of the stand-alone package include:

  • Pay only once
  • 60 days free support
  • Tried and true classic office applications

Generally speaking, Microsoft’s Office 2019 software is a good choice for very small businesses — typically less than 5 employees. As a stand-alone product, there is a fee attached to each copy of the software so if you have 3 machines using Office 2019, you’ll have 3 licenses. For slightly larger companies who use other cloud-based applications, Office 365 may be a better choice. It certainly offers more on-the-go flexibility by allowing use of the apps on multiple devices, as well as multiple subscription options.

If you would like to know more about how to select the right office package for your business, please contact us.

Improve Teamwork and File Collaboration with Microsoft Teams

Improve Teamwork and File Collaboration with Microsoft Teams

Team projects frequently require regular and sometimes even intensive communication between team members. It is often difficult however, to find the time and the meeting space to bring everyone together. This is just one of the reasons why Microsoft developed their Microsoft Teams application. Their Teams application provides an easy mechanism for project members to easily collaborate with each other; all from the convenience of their own desk or even while on-the-go.

Flexible Communication 

With the Microsoft Teams collaboration hub, members can easily connect with each other for group chats to review important project documents, or they can initiate a private conversation with another team member or an external user. Microsoft Teams offers flexible communication by offering team members the choice of communicating through voice, text or video channels. Team members can sign on anywhere, anytime, using virtually every device on the market since Microsoft Teams can be downloaded onto a variety of devices and operating systems, including:

  • Mac
  • Android
  • iPhone
  • Windows
  • Web

File Collaboration Made Easy

Group projects typically require the use of multiple applications, along with a multitude of different file types. Microsoft Teams makes it easy for team members to view, discuss, and edit a variety of different files from applications such as:

  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Visio 

In addition, if team members need to share project documents outside of their group project, Microsoft’s Team application allows that as well. Of course, there may be times when team members need to bring in files for review from sources other than Microsoft’s line of applications. In that case, project members can make use of their underlying SharePoint library to view non-Office files within the Teams application. 

If you want to increase efficiency and productivity in your group projects, Microsoft can make it happen with their Teams app. Contact us for details.